Black Sunflower is a series of drawings inspired by the shapes and colors of the weeds, prairie plants, and tree pollen that cause allergic reactions. These drawings are documents of places I have lived and contain sunflowers that were grown in my yard, along with recycled black paper pulp collected from discarded drawings. This paper was made at Fresh Press Agri-Fiber Paper Lab in Champaign, IL, where I worked during graduate school.
Fresh Press “explore(s) the potential of regional sustainable agricultural fiber waste as paper and paper products.” At Fresh Press, I participated in every step of the paper-making process. Specifically, I learned about Western paper-making while considering how material sources might play a role in the language of the work. While making these pieces, I found myself contemplating the material bases of local economies as well as the histories of these places I’ve lived. I think of my participation in these processes as something like a material history of these pieces, these places, and myself. I have included photographs of the sunflowers alongside the drawings.
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